How Much Does an AKC Registration Cost?

Last Updated on March 14, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

For purebred dog owners, breeders, trainers, and canine sports enthusiasts across America, officially registering beloved pets and prize show dogs with the influential American Kennel Club (AKC) can provide invaluable validation, prestige, and membership benefits well into your dog’s golden years.

But what exactly are the true costs associated with the various AKC registration options available? How much should owners budget for basic individual puppy and adult dog registration, litter applications, ownership transfers, supplemental pedigree services, and other offerings?

In this guide, we’ll thoroughly explain the different types of AKC registrations and associated costs, outline the factors that influence pricing like registration category, breed, and online versus mail submissions, highlight the many exclusive perks that come with verified AKC registration, summarize the step-by-step application process, and clarify important policy details that affect cost and eligibility like time limits.

How Much Does an AKC Registration Cost?

Basic AKC registration fees start at $35 for puppies and $65 for older dogs registered individually. Additional costs apply for litter registrations, ownership transfers, pedigree certification, and supplemental services. While not mandatory, registration helps verify dog ancestry and qualifications for AKC shows and trials.

Standard AKC puppy registration fees:

  • Online registration submitted via the AKC website – $35
  • Paper registration by mail – $55

Adult dog registration fees:

  • Online registration – $65
  • Paper registration by mail – $85

Other typical registration costs:

  • Litter registration – $25
  • Ownership transfer – $20
  • Certified pedigree – $35
  • Late registration fee after 1 year of birth – $100
  • Imported dog registrations – $150+

Additional surcharges also apply for name changes, replacements, event entries, and rush services.

The cost to register a litter with the AKC is $25.00 for the processing fee and $2.00 per puppy.

According to the official website, the AKC registration fee for an individual dog is $39.99 for basic registration only, $64.99 for basic registration with pedigree, $85.99 for basic registration with export pedigree, and $56.99 for basic registration with Reunite.

AKC Registration Explained

The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is the foremost American authority and registry for purebred dog pedigrees, breed standards, canine events, and advocacy initiatives supporting responsible dog ownership.

AKC dog registration specifically refers to the official process of recording your purebred dog’s lineage, breed attributes, ownership, and identity in the AKC’s extensive registry database.

Registration classifications include:

  • Individual dog registrations verifying breed, pedigree, and purebred status – required for AKC event entry
  • Litter registrations formally documenting new litters of AKC registered parents
  • Transfer registrations officially changing ownership of AKC registered dogs

To qualify for registration, dogs must meet high eligibility standards for documented ancestry, verified breed purity, and adherence to strict attribute guidelines in accordance with official AKC breed standards.

What Factors Influence AKC Registration Pricing?

Several circumstances impact the total cost of AKC registration:

  • Registration type – adult dogs cost more than puppies, and full pedigreed registrations cost more than basic.
  • Specific breed – rarer breeds can warrant higher registration fees.
  • Online vs paper– Online applications through the AKC website have reduced fees.
  • Any supplemental services requested like certified pedigrees or name changes.
  • Discounts and promotions– Occasional AKC discounts can reduce costs.

Understanding these nuances allows budgeting for AKC registration expenses.

What Are the Benefits of AKC Registration?

While optional, AKC registration provides:

  • Official certified verification of breed purity, pedigree lineage, and ancestry
  • Ability to enter exciting AKC-sanctioned shows, competitions, trials, races, and other events. Unregistered dogs are ineligible.
  • Access to AKC educational programs, publications, health and breed resources, helplines, and research initiatives
  • Priority inclusion in AKC Companion Animal Recovery lost pet microchip reunification network if enrolled
  • Reliable permanent documentation of ownership, breeder, and transfer records

Registration carries many advantages well worth the modest investment.

Step-by-Step AKC Dog Registration Process

Beagle Puppy RegisteredFollow these steps to successfully register your beloved dog with AKC:

  1. Carefully confirm registration eligibility and gather all required supporting documents, such as certified pedigree papers from breeder proving ancestry and breed purity.
  2. Determine the optimal registration type for your needs. Consider time limits, eligibility nuances, and pricing.
  3. Thoroughly complete the proper registration application online or by mail with your dog’s details including ancestry, breed, gender, microchip, colors, markings, etc. Double-check for accuracy.
  4. Submit payment of all applicable fees to AKC by check, credit card, or money order. Include any necessary documentation.
  5. Allow approximately 4-6 weeks for standard processing and delivery of your dog’s official registration certification and ID number.

Looking for a purebred small-sized dog? Check out our articles about the cost of a bichon,  a poodle, or a basset hound.

Closely following instructions and understanding policies ensure a smooth, timely registration. Reach out to AKC customer service if any questions arise.

Final Words

While optional for pet owners, AKC registration offers reputable, trusted third-party documentation of breeder lineages along with access to an unparalleled array of sports, health research, education, resources, and canine community engagement opportunities.

With standard registration fees starting around just $35, the investment can provide immense pride and benefits for years beyond. Consider both your budget and aspirations for your dog when weighing AKC registration.

By proactively researching details like cost structures and eligibility policies, you can make the most informed choice possible for your unique needs and circumstances.


Is there a time limit on AKC registration?

Yes, individual dog registrations must be submitted and processed by AKC within the first year of a dog’s date of birth. Registrations submitted after 12 months incur additional late fees from $30 to over $100 depending on how long after the 1-year cut-off date. Litters should also be registered within their first year whenever possible.

How much does it cost to transfer ownership of an AKC dog?

The baseline transfer of ownership fee for an AKC registered dog changing hands to a new owner is $20. Both the current owner and new owner must sign transfer authorization documents which can conveniently be completed online or mailed in using traditional paper forms. Additional fees may apply for lost certificates or rush processing.

Can I register my dog AKC without papers?

Unfortunately, no, dogs cannot be registered with AKC without complete verified pedigree paperwork formally documenting the dog’s purebred ancestral lineage back several generations. Both the sire and dam (parents) must also be properly registered with AKC and corresponding ID numbers provided.

Can you show a dog with limited AKC registration?

No, only dogs granted full AKC registration status are officially eligible to enter conformation dog shows, earn championship points, and compete for prestigious titles across the range of exciting AKC-approved events. The limited registration option just tracks lineage without granting show privileges. Discuss your needs with your breeder when registering.

1 reply
  1. Joel Eder
    Joel Eder says:

    My dog is eligible for a limited registration. To get full registration does the breeder have to rescind or amend my dog’s registration papers.? What forms and costs are necessary to amend the registration papers, and how do I access them.?


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